The New Tampa Chamber of Commerce is proud to have hosted the 19th annual Taste of New Tampa® at Paul R. Wharton High on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. again this year.

This year’s Taste guests again had the chance to taste samples of signatures dishes, tantalizing desserts, delicious and diverse offerings from the participating restaurants, ice cream shops, cafés and other local businesses while enjoying live entertainment, kids activities and lots of fun!

The Chamber Board offers a heartfelt thank you to all of the local restaurants and businesses that took part in the 2012 Taste and came out to support their community. This Taste is still all about you and without your participation, the event would not be possible! Please see the restaurant listings on our Thank You ad in this issue and support these wonderful eateries throughout the year. They truly do appreciate your business.

The Chamber also would like to thank the 2012 Taste major sponsors for their support: Walmart Foundation (WalmartFoundation. com), Mid-Florida Credit Union (, Sickle Hunter Financial Advisors (SickleHunter. com) & Gunter & Gunter Insurance (

We also want to thank our Media Sponsors: YOUR Community Newsletters, The Tampa Bay Times and the New Tampa Neighborhood News. Thanks also go to the Hillsborough County School Board, St. James United Methodist Church, Sign-A-Rama of New Tampa, the Bob Thompson Band, Dropin Pickup, Just Sang Productions featuring Glee Moms and our wristband pre-sale locations: Oakley’s Grille, Cherry Berry, You Do The Dishes, RE/MAX First in Real Estate and Synovus Bank.

This year’s Taste of New Tampa® also saw the introduction of the first-ever Best of Taste winner! Judging the inaugural 2012 Best of Taste competition were Mr. Ernest Hooper, a frequent judge for local Tampa Bay food events and columnist for the Tampa Bay Times, and Chef Ricardo Castro, CEC, Director of Culinary, Baking and Pastry programs at the Art Institute of Tampa.

The competition divided provided food into three categories — Entrées, Appetizers and Desserts. Results for each of the categories are as follows:


Best Entrées

1. La Cubanita Café

2. Café Olé

3. Kobe Steakhouse

Best Appetizers

1. Marco’s Pizza

2. Coffee Beanery Café

3. Papa John’s Pizza


Best Desserts

1. Baker’s Gallery

2. Ph.D.~serts & Cakes

3. Betty Cakes

Judge comments for the winning dishes include:

La Cubanita Masitas Pork – “We enjoyed the flavor sensations created by the masitas marinade, especially the combination of lime juice, sour orange and unique spices.”

Marco’s Pizza White Cheesy Pizza – “We appreciated the flavor combinations of both white and feta cheeses, sliced tomato, and bacon.”

Baker’s Gallery Heavenly Strawberry – “The judges loved all of the desserts, but felt the Baker’s Gallery offered the most unique flavor with its strawberry cupcake.

In addition to recognizing the achievements of each category winner, the judges also felt that the overall winner for Best in Taste award was Marco’s Pizza for its White Cheesy Pizza. The judges indicated that Marco’s did a great job of delivering both flavor consistency, as well as serving piping hot pizza, despite the windy conditions on Sunday.

The New Tampa Chamber thanks all of this year’s participants. We hope everyone makes the trip to Marco’s Pizza, located at 20305 BBD Blvd., to try this year’s tasty winner!

A tradition since 1993, the Taste of New Tampa® raises money for community projects; proceeds benefit Chamber projects (to promote businesses in the New Tampa area) and non-profit organizations, such as PTAs and Boy Scout troops who help make this event possible every year.


Chamber Luncheon Apr. 9

Join us on Monday, April 9, 11:30 a.m., at Pebble Creek Golf Club for our “Taking Care of Business” Chamber Lunch & Learn.”

This event will have an Experts Panel answering your questions about Funding Strategies for Small Business Owners, Business Protection Strategies, Online and Social Media Marketing, as well as Mobile, Local and Video Marketing. Register online now at Cost: $15 online, $20 at the door.

Join our Facebook page to receive regular updates on Chamber news and upcoming events. Visit Facebook. com/NewTampaChamber and click on the “Like” button to join us!

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